Jesus is not into Hollow Worship
What Would Jesus Undo? Week 2
Pastor Kris Freeman
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Scripture: Matthew 15:1-9 (NLT)
15 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’”
The Book of Isaiah is full of PROPHECIES fulfilled in the New Testament, and often referenced in the teachings of Jesus. Here, let’s look at the original text he is quoting:
Isaiah 29:13 (NLT)
13 And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine.
They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
Jesus encountered the Pharisees often – religious leaders with EMPTY worship.
Types of worship without significance which are easy to fake:
- Songs we sing (but the music is good!)
- Sermons we preach (but the story is good!)
- Acts of service we give (but the feeling is good!)
The Pharisees were obsessed with the ceremony – GOING THROUGH the motions. But they rarely expressed worship in a form of PERSONAL significance.
- Ceremonial – a state of being eligible to worship
- Personal – a state of understanding WHY you worship
Jesus UNLEASHES his displeasure. “Isaiah was right about you!”
- Hollow, empty and vain
Worship is not about the style of music (the ceremony), it’s about the condition of the heart.
- Christian worship is not a habit
- Christian worship is not a hobby
- Christian worship is not an interesting story
- Christian worship isn’t a fashion trend
- Christian worship has to be LIFE
How do we effectively and authentically express our worship?
- Sometimes, we BOW in reverence.
“Come, let us bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our God, our maker” (Psalm 95)
To kneel is to submit in reverence to something that is HOLY.
2. Sometimes, we LIFT our hands in adoration
It’s not a weird thing, it’s a holy and a Biblical thing. Paul instructed to “lift holy hands to God”
4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. – Ps 63:4
When we worship with our hands, it’s a sign of the connectivity between surrender and victory!
3. Sometimes, we DANCE in celebration.
Let them praise his name with dancing. – Psalm 149:3
David said “you turn my weeping into dancing.” A sign of being set free, healed, forgiven.
4. Sometimes, we worship with a SACRIFICE of praise.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – Hebrews 13:15
- Worship when we feel him, worship him when we don’t
- Worship when we are joyful, worship when we are low
- Worship is not based on our circumstances, it’s based on his CHARACTER
5. Sometimes, we lay down our lives daily as a ACT of worship
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. – Romans 12:1
Worship is not just the song we sing, it has to become the life that we live.
I can worship when:
- I love, give, serve, live, share, pray, speak, receive
34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever…36 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord. – 1 Chronicles 16:25